Box vs. Dropbox: A Detailed Comparison for 2024

Updated: Feb 28 ‘24 Published: Feb 28 ‘24 25 min read

The demand for cloud storage solutions is rising fast as more and more businesses start using digital data storage and collaboration tools. This is proved by a simple fact — the global cloud storage market is growing, demonstrating a compound annual growth rate of about 23%

This tendency results in a challenge for potential customers — they don’t know who to choose among a wide range of providers. The decision, however, is critical because solutions may differ in many ways and not all of them may suit their needs and budget.

In this article, we’ll talk about the difference between Dropbox and Box — two popular cloud storage and collaboration platforms. We’ll compare their features, target audiences, and strengths to help you determine which platform best fits your requirements.

Overview of Box and Dropbox

Let’s start with comparing the basics of Box and Dropbox — their missions, target audiences, histories, and market positions.


Dropbox is a cloud-based file storage and collaboration platform that allows users to store, access, and share files and documents from anywhere.

The company was founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi in 2007. In 2012 Dropbox reached the first 100 million users. Six years later, it went public with its IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Today, Dropbox is trusted by over 700 million users worldwide.

Dropbox’s mission is to “design a more enlightened way of working, for Dropboxers and the world”. The company aims to simplify the way people work together, making it easier for teams to collaborate, share ideas, and be productive regardless of their location.

The provider is a prominent player in the cloud storage and collaboration market, competing with other major players such as Google Drive and Box. It has established itself as a trusted platform for individuals, teams, and businesses looking for secure and easy-to-use cloud storage solutions.


Box is a cloud-based content management and collaboration platform that allows teams and organizations to securely store, share, and collaborate on documents. 

Box was founded in 2005 by Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith. In 2012, it reached its first 10 million users and secured its first round of funding. In 2015, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange. Today, more than 41 million users use the company’s services.

Box’s mission is to “power how the world works together.” The company aims to provide a secure and collaborative platform that enables organizations to work more effectively and achieve their goals.

Box is also a leading provider in the cloud content management industry, competing with platforms like Dropbox, ShareFile, and Microsoft OneDrive. It has established itself as a trusted platform for businesses and enterprises looking for secure cloud storage solutions with scalability options.

Best use cases for Box and Dropbox

So, is Box the same as Dropbox? Not really. Our analysis of these products showed that while both offer cloud-based storage and collaboration solutions, their key difference lies in their use cases and target audiences.


Best for: individual users, small businesses, and freelancers

Why: Dropbox offers a user-friendly interface, affordable pricing plans, and easy collaboration features more suitable for individuals and small businesses. It provides effective file syncing, sharing, and access from any device, making it ideal for those who prioritize simplicity in their work.


Best for: large businesses, enterprises, and organizations

Why: Box provides advanced security features, robust compliance capabilities, and extensive user management controls necessary for larger businesses. It offers more of a virtual data room structure, scalability, custom branding, and integrations with enterprise applications, making it suitable for companies with complex requirements and regulatory compliance needs.

Feature-by-feature comparison of Box and Dropbox

Let’s compare Box and Dropbox in terms of the features they provide.

Key features Dropbox Box
Cloud storage and file sharing

🔸 Cloud storage for various file types

🔸 Storage capacity up to 15 TB

🔸 Free 2 GB storage for individual users

🔸 Large file delivery up to 250 GB

🔸 Instant sync across devices

🔸 Backup for uploaded files

🔸 Cloud storage for all file types

🔸 Unlimited storage

🔸 Free storage for individual users

🔸 Upload files up to 150GB

🔸 File syncing capabilities across devices

🔸 Backup options for files

Data management

🔸 Ability to create Microsoft Office and Google Workspace documents right in the app

🔸 Drag-and-drop interface
Folders arranged based on activity and recency

🔸 A file preview with collaborator comments, including large files

🔸 Each file displays file size, last modified date, and modifier

🔸 Dropdown menus (rename, comment, pin star, version history, etc.)

🔸 PDF editing

🔸 Ability to create new cloud files like Google Docs, Slides, PowerPoints, and Excel sheets

🔸 Intuitive drag-and-drop feature

🔸 A visual preview and comments

🔸 Built-in content management system with customization options, formatting styles, and design tools

🔸 Folders arranged based on activity and recency

🔸 Each file displays information like date modified, last active user, and file size.


🔸 Suitable for individual or small business collaboration

🔸 A shareable link for any project with an expiration date and access permissions

🔸 Alerts, notifications, and updates across all users and devices

🔸 All content is synced with team members or external users

🔸 The ability to comment directly on files like photos and videos with text and drawing tools

🔸 Time-based comments for videos

🔸 File requests with giving title and description and setting a deadline

🔸 Suitable for business/enterprise collaboration

🔸 Advanced workflow features

🔸 Invite link generation with expiration date and access permissions

🔸 Invite messages sync with email, Slack, or Microsoft Teams

🔸 Document co-authoring and co-editing

🔸 Dynamic commenting and user tagging

🔸 Task assignments to specific users or groups

🔸 The ability to collaborate with external users

🔸 A content-creation tool allowing 30 simultaneous users to create text-based documents

Integration with third-party applications

🔸 Integrates with over 100 third-party apps

🔸 Integrates with over 1,500 third-party apps, including enterprise-level

User interface and experience

🔸 Intuitive user interface, with a focus on simplicity and ease of use

🔸 Easy for individuals and small teams to navigate and manage their files

🔸 A user-friendly interface, but it tends to be more feature-rich and customizable, so it can take more time to learn how to use it

🔸 More suitable for larger organizations with complex file structures

Mobile access

🔸 Available on Android and iOS devices

🔸 Available on Android and IOS devices

Offline access

🔸 Allows access to certain files offline

🔸 Offers offline access to all files

As can be seen from the table, the providers are pretty similar when it comes to the functionality they offer. The key difference between Dropbox and Box lies in their target markets. Dropbox is geared towards individual users and small businesses. Its strengths are simplicity and seamless file synchronization. In contrast, Box targets larger enterprises with advanced collaboration and security features.

Box versus Dropbox: Security protocols and compliance

Is Dropbox the same as Box when it comes to virtual data protection? In fact, pretty much yes. Both Dropbox and Box offer:

  1. 256-bit data encryption. Both providers use robust encryption protocols to protect data both at rest and in transit.
  1. Two-factor authentication. This is an additional layer of security, requiring users to provide a second form of verification (such as a code sent to their mobile device) in addition to their password.
  1. File and folder password protections. Users can set passwords for individual files or folders, adding an extra layer of security to restrict unauthorized access.
  1. Access expirations. Users can set access expirations for shared files and folders, automatically revoking access after a specified period.
  1. HIPAA compliance. Both Dropbox and Box support HIPAA compliance, ensuring that healthcare organizations can securely store and share sensitive patient information in accordance with regulatory requirements.
  1. Single Sign-On (SSO). Both providers allow users to log into their accounts and access different applications using one set of credentials. This enhances security by reducing the risk associated with managing multiple login credentials.

However, while both Dropbox and Box provide robust security features, Box appears to offer more comprehensive solutions in terms of:

  • Encryption key management. Box offers Box KeySafe for customers to maintain complete control of their encryption keys, while Dropbox provides a password manager.
  • Data compliance. Box covers a wide range of compliance standards, more than Dropbox, and offers Box Zones for addressing data residency across geographies.
  • Data leak prevention. Box has a more elaborated feature set with Box Shield for preventing data leaks and providing context-aware alerts.
  • Governance. Box offers more extensive governance capabilities than Dropbox, which may be particularly valuable for organizations with complex regulatory requirements.

Thus, Box appears to be more suitable for larger organizations or those with specific regulatory needs. Dropbox, on the other hand, may cater well to users and businesses looking for just essential security features.

Pricing models and plans comparison

Let’s conduct a pricing plans comparison and find out which solution is more cost-effective.

Dropbox pricing models

Pricing planPrice (annual billing)What’s includedBest for
FreeFree🔸 2 GB storageIndividual users with basic needs
Plus$9.99/month/ user🔸 2 TB storage
🔸 Large file delivery up to 2 GB
Individual users or small teams
Essentials$18/month/user 🔸 3 TB of storage
🔸 Large file delivery up to 100 GB
Business$20/month/user🔸 3+ users
🔸 9+ TB for the team
🔸 Large file delivery up to 100 GB
Business Plus$26/month/user🔸 3+ users
🔸 15+ TB for the team
🔸 Large file delivery up to 250 GB
EnterpriseCustom pricing🔸CustomizableCompanies requiring a tailored solution

Box pricing models

Pricing planPrice (annual billing)What’s includedBest for
IndividualFree🔸 10 GB of storage
🔸 250 MB file upload limit
Individual users 
Personal Pro$10/month
Single user
🔸 100 GB of storage
🔸 5 GB file upload
Individual users 
Business Starter$5/user/month
Minimum 3 users
🔸 100 GB of storage
🔸 2 GB file upload
Business teams
Minimum 3 users
🔸 Unlimited storage
🔸 5 GB file upload
Business teams
Business Plus$25/user/month
Minimum 3 users
🔸 Unlimited storage
🔸 15 GB file upload
Business teams requiring content management tools
Minimum 3 users
🔸 Unlimited storage
🔸 50 GB file upload
Business teams requiring  advanced content management and data protection
Enterprise PlusCustom pricing🔸 Unlimited storage
🔸 150 GB file upload
Companies requiring a tailored solution

Now let’s compare the cost-effectiveness of Box versus Dropbox in terms of several aspects:

  1. Storage. Dropbox starts with 2 TB at their lowest paid tier, while Box offers 100 GB in their lowest paid business plan but provides unlimited storage at higher tiers.
  1. File size limits. Box allows for larger file uploads across its plans compared to Dropbox, which could be crucial for businesses dealing with large files.
  1. Pricing. Box’s entry-level business plans are more affordable than Dropbox’s equivalent tier when considering per-user cost.
  1. Features. Both services offer similar features. However, Box includes a broader range of integrations and security features in its plans.

So, which provider is more cost-effective? It depends. On factors, such as the size of the organization, collaboration requirements, security and compliance needs, and budget constraints. Dropbox, for example, may offer better pricing for individual users and small teams. Box, on the other hand, may provide more value for larger organizations.

Additional read: You might also be interested in reading the article about virtual data room price comparison. It provides insights on selecting the most cost-effective data storage solution.

Exploring alternative solutions

Drawing on our own experience, we suggest you take a look at an excellent Box and Dropbox alternative — iDeals virtual data room. 

iDeals virtual data room is a secure platform designed for secure document sharing and collaboration. The service can be used as a due diligence, M&A, legal, startup data room, or as a platform for any other business or financial transaction.

The company’s mission is to “create prosperity in the world by accelerating high-stake business decisions.”

Let’s explore its key advantages over Box, Dropbox, and other cloud storage solutions:

  1. Excellent customer support services. iDeals offers 24/7 customer support via chat, phone, and email with 30-second, 25-second, and 30-minute response time, respectively. Its average case resolution is an impressive 5 minutes. These metrics are among the best in the industry.
  1. Ease of use. iDeals VDR is very easy to use. First, it’s quick to set up, usually taking just 15 minutes. Second, the platform has a very friendly interface available in 15 languages. Third, it works well on desktop and mobile devices, making it convenient for everyone. 
  1. Robust security. iDeals also provides customers with advanced security functionality, like two-factor authentication, granular 8-level permissions, user access expiration, dynamic watermarks, redaction, and fence view. They protect confidential business information from unauthorized access and leakages.

The table below provides more details on the advantages of iDeals over Box and Dropbox.

iDeals vs Box vs Dropbox

ideals data room
box-big s
User feedback
Ease of use
Ease of setup
Value for money
Customer care
  • 24/7 chat support
  • 30-second response time
  • 8 levels of access
  • 25+ file formats
  • 15 languages support
  • Search with OCR
  • Advanced Q&A module
  • No
  • 24/7 chat support
  • Activity tracking
  • Commenting
  • Role-based permissions
  • Reporting
  • Compliance management
  • 24/7 chat support
  • Role-based permissions
  • Reporting
  • API access
  • Cloud computing
  • Restrictive storage limits
  • Less intuitive interface
Pricing range
Drag & drop upload
Personal manager
Bulk user invitation
Search with OCR
Multilingual access
Activity reports
Detailed audit trail
Activity notifications

Key takeaways

  • Both Box and Dropbox are cloud-based file storage and collaboration platforms that allow users to securely store, access, and share documents. The key difference between Box and Dropbox lies in their use cases and target audiences. Dropbox is best for individual users and small businesses, while Box better suits bigger organizations and enterprises.
  • While both Dropbox and Box provide robust security features, Box appears to offer more comprehensive solutions in terms of encryption key management, data compliance, governance, and data leak prevention.
  • In terms of pricing, Dropbox offers better options for individual users and small teams, while Box provides more value for larger organizations.
  • iDeals virtual data room is a great alternative to Box and Dropbox cloud storage. It provides a wide range of robust security features, effective collaboration tools, and excellent customer support experience.

If you’re still unsure which solution to choose, you’re welcome to get acquainted with the full comparison of the best virtual data room providers. It will certainly help you make an informed decision.


No, Box and Dropbox are separate platforms and aren’t compatible with each other. However, users can manually download files from one platform and upload them to the other, if needed.
Dropbox users have several complaints about the platform. Firstly, the storage capacity for free users is very limited (only 2GB), making it challenging to store large volumes, particularly non-document files. Additionally, while Dropbox does offer some security features, its encryption standards, such as 256-bit AES for stored files, don’t meet the highest standards. Furthermore, the search functionality is limited, with full-text searching and search filters only accessible to paid accounts.
Yes, users can send file transfers for free with Dropbox Transfer, but with certain storage limits ranging from 100MB for free accounts to 250GB for business plans.


Marketing specialist at

Elisa is a marketing specialist with 15 years of experience. She worked for many VDR brands and gained insider knowledge of the industry.

At, Elisa conducts marketing research, develops content plans, supervises content teams, and develops VDR review methodology. She envisions her mission as distributing accurate knowledge of virtual data rooms.

“My mission is to deliver accurate and relevant knowledge of virtual data rooms to as many people as possible.”

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